[Page Name: Freely Give]
Freely you have received, freely give (Mat 10:8)
This scripture is used by some to "prove" that they are
commanded by Jesus to give away all their literature, and this scripture is
used by some to demand everything free from the Church. But somehow they are
blind to the very next verse which says
Mat 10:9 Do not take gold or silver or copper for your
belts; Mat 10:10 no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or
walking stick. The laborer deserves his keep.
What did Jesus mean then when he said: "Freely you have
received, freely give"? What did they receive free? In context he
was speaking only about Spiritual gifts: "Heal the sick, cleanse the
lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils, freely you have received, freely give."
(Matt 10:8) What did they receive freely -- gifts of the Spirit. This is
what is given away freely.
Notice that Simon tried to buy Spiritual gifts:
And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy
Spirit was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on
whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Spirit. But Peter said unto him. Thy money
perish with thee, because you have thought that the gift of God may be purchased with
money. (Acts 8:18-20)
Simon had seen and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were
done through the Holy Spirit. (Acts 8:13) But Jesus said you cannot sell the gifts of the
Spirit. After all, you received them freely, therefore freely give them away.
Jesus was not asking his apostles to work for nothing
In context, Jesus also said that those he sent to teach the flock should not provide
for themselves gold or silver, nor script, neither shoes, for the workman is worthy of his
meat. (Matt 10:9-10)
Dead Beats in the church
Paul's Free Gospel? Even though Paul taught that the teachers of
the good news deserve their wages (1 Cor 9:6-14), while he was in Corinth
Paul asked nothing for himself (1 Cor 9:15), and even worked for his keep as a
tent maker while he was with the Corinthians (Acts 18:1-4), yet in so
doing he attracted contentious dead beats into the Corinthian church. (1 Cor 1:10-11; 3:1-3; 4:12-14; 5:1-2; etc) By Paul not
asking for his dues, did he allow dead beats to enter into his group in
Corinth? I think so. But at the same time Paul was not charging the Corinthians for
his own upkeep he was still asking them for other contributions. (1 Cor 16:1-3)
Don't be fooled by the dead beats. If you are in the Church of God you do
have financial obligations to provide for the Church. The dictionary
definition for "dead beat" is, "a person who tries to evade
paying for things." A Christian dead beat is someone who doesn't pay
his way, and takes
scripture out of context to prove he does not have to support the Church.
Don't be a dead beat -- participate.
If possible we would give our literature away. For those who are poor, we do our best
to give away our literature. Because dispensing literature over the Internet is relatively
inexpensive, we do allow all to download literature from our Internet site.